Pitching mechanics for more velocity help please!

Hi, my name is Kevin Votaw and I am a sophomore pitcher at Northwestern College in Minnesota. This is my first post here but I have been a long time student and reader of the site. I need some tips and analysis on my mechanics to gain more velocity. Right now by the guess of my catcher and a few friends, I am sitting in the mid 80s sometimes getting into the upper 80s. The two pitchers I look to the most are Tim Lincecum above all and Tom Seaver since I have a body more like his. If there are any suggestions, tips, or anything I am open to whatever will work. This is the 3rd bullpen I have thrown this winter so its nothing close to a finished product. My goals for this bullpen were move fast, get full back leg extension, and work on a longer stride. Here is the link to the video:

The videos private.

That was my fault I am new to YouTube also. It is fixed now, thanks.

First thing i notice is that your foot is not parallel to the rubber when pushing off… Second i think you arent getting over your front foot enough so you are just spinning… for such an overhand pitching i dont think you should be spinning around that much. Its as if you are trying too much to throw hard. trying harder doesnt always = more.

You are right I am not getting over my front foot because I was going for a little longer stride. Spinning isn’t what I meant to happen, just trying to get the back hip through and “pick up the dollar”. That is definitely true, intent to throw hard doesn’t always mean more.

What are some suggestions or tips that would help?

Boy Kev that porto mound gives you very little traction. Also it doesn’t help that you seem to be rushing through your pen instead of concentrating on replicating your mechs. My recommendation would be to slow down and give us a vid more like you’d normally be on the mound. When you get to the level you are on, the small stuff is the issue and we aren’t getting a proper representation of a “normal” Kev delivery. I will say that I like your motion a whole lot more than that other pitcher working behind you…Man! That dude is linear as it gets.

Thank you! I appreciate the comments. The small stuff is what it is coming down to and I am videotaping, analyzing myself and Major Leaguers like Ryan, Clemens, Lincecum, Seaver, and so on to find those small things and apply them now in the offseason so I am ready to go when the season starts.

You are right I was rushing quite a bit this day which isn’t normal. I had only a short amount of time to get in my bullpen and was simply happy to throw and have another shot at videotaping. I will videotape my 'pen and put it on as soon as I can with some more angles as well.

That is funny you caught the kid behind me because my head coach is the one giving the kid a private session there! If I had the time to give the advice he gives us, it is not good, but that for another day.

yeah, i think a shorter stride would fix your getting over the front foot problem.

def a fan of lincecum, i can see. little joba chamberlain in there too.

Would the getting over the front foot by shortening the stride a bit add any velocity?

Also, is there a way I could delay my hands to get the arm involved later in order to create more hip/shoulder seperation which adds velocity and takes stress off the arm?

i can’t tell you what it would do to your velocity. my guess is it wouldn’t have much impact. What it would do is give you more command of your breaking ball.

it looks to me like if you delay your hands breaking it would actually put more stress on your shoulder. your timing looks pretty good right now from what i can see. it looks like your pitching arm is up and cocked at the point when your front foot lands, which is what you should shoot for… i know some MLers have their arms still not up yet when thier foot lands, jason shmidt comes to mind … but my experience has been that while doing that does add a few mph, just a few, it messes up my control. not worth it, and from what i’ve read its more of an injury risk.

Thank you for looking at that it helps a lot. If I don’t have to worry about delaying my hands more, what’s something that will help create that hip/shoulder seperation where the arm stays back longer?

I’ve been studying quite a bit of Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens today and noticed that I have 1) a hard time with keeping my arm back so I can fully utilize the hip/shouler seperation I do have and 2) don’t have(at least it went away trying to get a longer stride on this day) my chest, head, and torso over my front foot. Any suggestions for this?

The two other things I am wondering about is how to “tilt” over the front foot using the chest like so many pitchers do and the whole idea of pronating as you throw, which I have never knowingly done. I have had a history of ulnar nerve problems when I pitched a bunch, got tired, and used mostly my arm. But even with this, does pronation like Ryan and Clemens take that stress off and put it on the pronator teres muscle like I’ve read? Exactly when do you pronate too?

The two other things I am wondering about is how to “tilt” over the front foot using the chest like so many pitchers do and the whole idea of pronating as you throw, which I have never knowingly done. I have had a history of ulnar nerve problems when I pitched a bunch, got tired, and used mostly my arm. But even with this, does pronation like Ryan and Clemens take that stress off and put it on the pronator teres muscle like I’ve read? Exactly when do you pronate too?[/quote]

I think you look pretty good (although I don’t care for the Lincecum copy cat delivery). If you’re having arm issues then you should look at your conditioning and rest. Make sure that your arm and body are perfectly conditioned and make sure you are getting enough rest between your starts.

Also make sure that your diet is perfect so that you are getting the most from your recovery time.

You really need to take a hard look at all of this and be honest with yourself. Is there anything you need to do better with any of it?

If it isn’t then stop reading here and don’t do the rest of what I suggest until it is right.

After ALL of the above is optimal I would seriously look into a good long toss program (think Jeager style program) or simply throwing for velocity into a net with radar gun feedback. Work up to doing this about 3X/week with just light toss on 2 of the other days.

You need this feedback in order to “feel” what a max effort throw really feels like. If you work hard enough at it, eventually that “max” will feel more “normal” when you do throw for it.

I’m not sure how controversial it is, but I am on P90X, which has gotten me more flexible and lean than I have ever been. My diet is clean with the occassional, very rare sweet such as dark chocolate. I do a few sets of Jobe every night as well.

I do think that optimal mechanics for maximum velocity for each can be learned. I am not saying copy Lincecum(although I did a little in my video) or any other pitcher, but taking the basic, time-tested, and proven mechanics that have worked for hard-throwing pitchers who have been durable. I am a perfectionist and look for every detail so I can learn and commit it to muscle memory. I do not claim to know everything and everyone on here knows so much, post great comments, and have helped a lot.

I do have a problem with a long toss program. At our college, we do NOT have a fieldhouse. Instead, we have one gym that houses our boys and girls basketball, softball, and baseball at the same time. That is a challenge, but I am not going to get caught up in it and do the best in the situation I am in. That is a great idea to work on throwing maximum velocity a few times a week.

All I know is I am looking for some more m.p.h.'s, and it is the little things that make a difference and the little things that will get me to throw harder and will set me apart from any other college pitcher.

Hi, votaw.
I know there are all sorts of little things you’re addressing in your previous posts, but I’d like to call your attention to a major one I mentioned in my remarks to the guy who’s having his problems with the so-called “arm slop”. This has to do with getting your whole body into the action and not just throwing with the arm and the shoulder—I have an idea that much of your difficulty has to do with using just that extremity. If you were to work on driving off the lower half of the body, using the legs, hips and torso in one continuous motion, that might resolve a lot of your difficulties and, in the process, give you more power behind your pitches (and take a lot of pressure off the arm and the shoulder so you’d be throwing harder and faster than you’re doing now).
Also, be sure you’re following through—completing your pitches. This is something a lot of guys overlook! 8)

how fast do u throw?

it does look like your glove side shoulder opens a little early. but i wouldn’t obsess over it … if you try a bit of a shorter stride, obviously your foot will plant earlier, your hips will open earlier and likely catch up with your shoulder.

I throw about 85-88. Not bad, but not great either. I’m just looking for the extra little things that I know others will see and have suggestions or tips to gain that little bit more I am looking for that will bring everything together so I can be ready for the season.

I will work on the shorter stride and the other tips I have gotten and re-post another video as soon as possible and see what can happen from there.

INstead of a shorter stride I would work towards acheiving better momentum with the lead leg. That will naturally lengthen your stride and direct you more towards the plate.

First of all I think you do some things very well. I really like your up-paced tempo and the fact that forward hip movement begins at leg lift. You’ve got a good drag line which indicates pretty good efficiency in your lower half.

I think you’re working in the right direction by focusing on moving faster and lengthening your stride. I’m going to assume this is a work-in-progress and you are not fully comfortable yet, thus the inconsistent finish (or poor mound). If you are indeed opening early, which I can’t really tell from this view, moving your body faster into foot strike should help.

I don’t recommend shortening your stride, unless in this video you are increasing it artificially. Shortening the stride typically results in a reduction of energy at foot strike and that can force the rest of your body to work harder to generate velocity, and thus some have found shortening the stride can lead to shoulder problems.

IMO getting your body moving faster over, at first, your normal stride length is a better approach. As you become comfortable with the faster tempo, you can then begin to incrementally increase your stride- as strength and flexibility allow. At the same time you may find that the faster tempo may let you stride farther since by moving faster you can cover more ground in the same amount of time.

Keep working on hip, core and lower back strength and hip flexibility/mobility. These are important factors in maintaining dynamic balance and getting the hips/torso to track straight to the target during a longer stride.

The angle of your posting foot with the heel off the rubber concerns me a little but without a front or rear view I’m hesitant to make suggestions. Some guys do just fine from that position.

First off, thank you for the comments and reply, the encouragement helps a lot.

So a shorter stride is not what I want to do. I am cool with that. In this particular video is definitely a work in progress with a bunch of flaws. I am perfectly ok with that because it means I have room for growth if there is things to work on.

In this bullpen I was really trying to drive and reach for a bigger stride and thus the inconsistent finish, lack of getting over the front leg, and so on. I do have to say, our mounds are indeed terrible. They repeatedly move and slide if you really dig in and drive off the back leg. What can you do right? :slight_smile:

I will continue to work on moving fast and get into a more comfortable stride and then as you said, use the gains in strength and flexibility to get further out, because the longer the lever, the faster the pitch will be right?

Are there any specific strength or flexibility drills that relate directly to pitching that can be done daily? I know medicine balls work well for developing core and hip strength, but what about flexibility? Wouldn’t it just be simple hamstring and groin stretches?

Everyone thank you for the posts and continued help, we will get there little by little. Hopefully since I start classes again tomorrow I can get a bullpen in this week. Can’t wait to see how the tips feel.